Another economic crisis could hit us. We would not be prepared. It could go something like the film The Road. There could be unimaginably cruel circumstances, come the next bust.
The national debt is over €200bn, estimates have it shading €220bn.
We have more cost over-run in the National Children’s Hospital including building inflation. The last bout of building inflation left us with mass-emigration, mass-unemployment and a deep need for food-kitchens and food-banks. Our country was scarred by abandoned housing left in various stages of the build, and so many left on flood-plains. The national debt tells us with much else — we have not recovered.
Cost over-runs levied on the public purse join various and many ‘system failures’ and so on. It is reasonable to add ensuing extra costs are not the fault of ours pointing out we haven’t recovered from the previous building and economic crash, which we also warned about. And always the great ‘system failure’ when things come apart.
Last time, well over 700,000 personal mortgage debts came upon families and individuals in a state with the sovereign unable viably to borrow to cover day to day requirements and overborrowed, leaving millions struggling in brutal circumstances. And in 2019, there remain over 30,000 personal mortgages in debt — many in severe debt. Over 10,000 persons are officially homeless — a third being children. Focus Ireland has reported most homeless are out of private rented accommodation.
In the last crash, we had IMF and the Troika and Wolfgang Schäuble, his team and their theme on anti-inflation — austerity. And An Bord Snip agus An Bord Nua, the public purse bailing – NAMA. Next time there won’t be Schäuble – he moved on.
Vultures swooped down on distressed properties and upon bail-out banking bundles of so-called ‘non-performing loans’, and vultures rent. Private or institutional landlords are charging rents well beyond levels of 2005-2007.
Between escalating rents, tens of thousands of indebted mortgages, 10,000 and more homeless, and, with building inflation, thought of the 1847-1852 mass-evictions comes to mind. This comes after 20 years boom to bust cyclic economics with downturn quite possible soon again.
Cocaine use is up, seeming to shadow the rise in use on the curve of the last economic bubble. You hear of terrible, heart-stopping risk of some injecting crack-cocaine with heroin. Terrifying. The drug mafia cartels seek money, influence and control over others. Who launders their fortunes?
Those in the half-life of direct provision and seeking a home away from collapsing states are not responsible.
Yet, we will hear hollow noises out of tin-pot populists with the card-trick distraction of the bewildered.
This reader's opinion was originally published in the letters page of the Irish Examiner print edition on June 24, 2019.